A discussion chaired by John Langmore, with Pascal Lamy, Ross Garnaut, Rod Eddington and Laura Eadie
An invitation-only event co-auspiced by Melbourne School of Government and Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at University of Melbourne, addressing the question of how Australia’s choice of discount rates impacts our long-term planning and investment.
Discount rates are a tool to compare the future value of something to its value in today’s currency. They allow investors to weigh up costs and benefits that occur at different points in time. They also influence how much society is willing to invest for the future, and how much to consume today. A high discount rate means we consume more now, and invest only in projects with high short-term payoffs (regardless of any negative long-term consequences). A low discount rate means we invest more now, particularly in projects with longer-term returns.
Governments make implicit judgements about the value of current, relative to future benefits when they select discount rates for evaluating investments.
This is a closed event. Please see the public event in this series which will be in Sydney on 28 May.